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Holy Grail
The Celtic church before 570 | After 570 | Notes | Pelagius

666 | Joseph of Arimathea | The Iron Rod What was the grail?|



 

 

The

 

"symbol of an alternative apostolic succession"

 

 




 

The legends of the "Holy Grail" recall a lost golden age. The grail seems to refer to an alternative form of Christianity, a priesthood that was traced to Jesus Christ, but not through the Roman church. Evidence points to it being lost in AD 570. The prophecies said it would be restored again after 1260 years.




The first fully developed grail legend that survives is Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval or Story of the Grail, from around 1190. It is probably based on a Welsh poem, Peredur son of Evrawk. In this early Welsh version, the grail is not specifically identified.

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In the early legends the item itself was not the important thing - it could be a cup, a lance, a plate, a stone - anything that was imbued with godly power and religious significance.
The stories of King Arthur's knights represented chivalrous ideals of honour and Christian conduct. Only the purest knights could attempt the quest for the grail.

The grail stories' popularity coincided with the darkest period of Christian history: the time of the crusades, and the greatest worldly power of the church. Things were so bad that, from the twelfth century, there were many calls from within the church for reform. Scholars generally trace the roots of the reformation to this period


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1. Why did they choose to remember a sixth century British king?
2. Why is the quest for a Celtic object?
3. And why does the quest always fail?

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For general information about the grail, visit http://engr.arizona.edu/~dkf/grail.html

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Background image: Tintagel castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur.

So, amidst the darkest period of Christianity, people clung to the highest ideal they could find of Christian life. Three questions immediately arise:

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Something happened in the late sixth century that led to the recording of some of the world's greatest legends. Stories of honour, stories of a lost golden age, stories of failed attempts to regain the Holy Grail - a last relic of original Christianity.

When we look at what we know about the Celtic grail legends, and what we know about Christianity in Britain in the sixth century, it all starts to become clear.



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Other links (away from this site):

For how Joseph Smith fulfils the grail legends, see http://www.cyberhighway.net/~shirtail/holy.htm